Wonder Reef – Gold Coast Dive Attraction

  • Project typeTourism
  • Project value$5 million
  • Project scheduleInstallation – August 2021, subject to weather conditions. Public opening early 2022.
  • Contractor nameSubcon Blue Solutions
Gold Coast Dive Attraction diver on boat

Installation of Australia's newest dive attraction is underway.

A world class dive attraction on the Gold Coast has been a long-held catalyst project to diversify the city's tourism offering and raise the profile of the Gold Coast as a premier dive destination.

Wonder Reef has been purposely designed to attract and sustain a rich diversity of marine life and offer an iconic and exciting dive experience for divers of all levels. It will:

  • achieve best practice with an innovative fusion of art, science and engineering design
  • attract and sustain a rich diversity of marine life, offering an interesting and exciting dive experience
  • deliver a dive experience for a range of diver certification levels
  • provide significant economic benefit and generate jobs
  • build the capacity of operators and businesses within the local tourism industry
  • foster greater appreciation of marine life and the natural environment
  • provide marine research and educational opportunities.

The City is delivering the project with $2.5 million in matched funding under the Queensland Government's Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

The site

Approximately 2.5 kilometres offshore from Philip Park, The Spit, at a depth of 30 metres AHD. Wonder Reef will open to diving in early 2022. Site access for any purpose without the approval of the City of Gold Coast is strictly prohibited.

Current status

Wonder Reef has been recently installed and is now undergoing monitoring and testing to meet conditions of approval and ensure diver safety. This period also allows marine life to establish before Wonder Reef opens to the public in early 2022.

View footage of the reef structures fabrication and transportation to Brisbane.

Installation will be followed by 6 to 8 months of monitoring and testing to meet approvals and ensure safety. This period will also allow marine life to establish before opening to the public in early 2022.

Design

  • Nine buoyant sculptural reef flutes standing about 22 metres above the sea floor, tethered to the seabed by 9 reef foundations
  • Buoyant sculptural reef flutes submerged approximately 7 metres below the surface, accessible to all levels of divers
  • Reef foundations are 4 metres by 4 metres in size and weigh about 72 tonnes each, accessible by advanced open water divers
  • Reef purposely designed to provide habitat for a diverse range of marine life
  • Swim-throughs and landing platforms for divers
  • Four moorings to facilitate diver access
  • Eighteen months of complex technical analysis and design with expert input from around the world, to ensure the reef can withstand the harsh marine environment including 18-plus metre waves
  • Designed by reef experts Subcon Blue Solutions and renowned Queensland artist Daniel Templeman

Read our Artificial Reef Sea Dumping Permit Long Term Management Plan(PDF, 4MB).

Economic benefits

In its first 10 years of operation, Wonder Reef is anticipated to:

  • inject $32.8 million into the region's economy
  • generate over 166,000 new overnight visitors to the Gold Coast
  • support over 80 full time jobs.

View the project videos